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Cowichan_Lee
Just Moved In
Status: New Idea

There needs to be an easier way to report wide spread outages and keep track of the status.  Example:  On December 24th there was a massive wind storm that hit Vancouver Island.  Trees took out the power lines along with the phone lines so we have been without phone since then and it is now the 29th.  The Telus Map shows outages but none for the Cowichan Valley - yes there was Duncan and Cowichan Bay but the valley is more extensive including all the communities around Cowichan Lake.  There is no place to report issues.  All the phone lines are down between Duncan and the Lake and not one Telus truck in sight.  Phoned in and was told that they have to receive multiple complaints to investigate.  Hard when no power.  Many of the elderly do not have cell phones.  Most of my neighbors have switched to Shaw as they find it too hard to deal with Telus; so perhaps this new feature will win some back since Shaw phone does not work during power outages!

1 Comment
Nighthawk
Community Power User
Community Power User

I do agree that a way to report individual services being out is a good thing. The more individual complaints that Telus does receive, the better picture they will get of just who is affected, and the better plan of action can be made to get things fixed faster. I would hope that people are checking in on their elderly neighbors, especially if the power is out.

 

If someone has access to the internet, problems can be reported using the chat feature on Telus' website. I've found it faster to get in touch with someone there than over the phone.

 

Random reports of "wide spread outages" would just be a problem because the average person won't actually know how if there is even a widespread issue, what the issue is to begin with, where it is, or how widespread the issue actually is. Knowing where the problem is located is a key thing because you don't want a repair crew searching endlessly for a problem in the wrong location.

 

Some other points to consider:

  • If the power is out, there's no quick and easy way for the average person to know exactly if there is a problem with phone service over a wider area since not everyone still has a corded phone.
  • If the power is out long enough, the phone service will go down as the backup power for the system is not unlimited. Some more remote or outlying areas may have a backup of only 24 hours as many smaler exchanges run on battery backups. Some of the larger ones may have a backup generator.
  • If a tree hit some lines and there are hydro lines on that pole / span, Telus and Shaw cannot touch anything until Hydro clears the tree and declares the section safe. If the tree is in contact with the hydro line or the power line is in contact with any wood surface, it is declared a "hot pole". Depending on the number of trees down, that can take quite some time for Hydro to clear. I'm sure you can appreciate getting electrocuted is a bad thing.
  • In areas where there is hydro, phone and cable services - and they each have their own lines - most people can't tell the difference between the phone lines on the poles and the cable lines. Reporting a line down to the wrong company just makes it take much longer to get repaired. Reporting it to both can just slow down repair times for everone in the area, unless both lines are physically down.
  • Expecting to see crews everywhere is unrealistic. The windstorm was quite widespread and there are a limited number of specialized cable repair crews available. Even if they brought some in from the lower mainland, where they're also dealing with trees down, it still wouldn't be a quick fix. An average regular repair tech that come out to a customer's premises won't typically have the equipment needed to run new lines, especially spanning between poles.